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Elia surprised by Netherlands call-up

Netherlands winger Eljero Elia has expressed his delight at being selected in the squad by Louis van Gaal to take on Romania.

The 25-year-old has been integrated into the squad alongside Jordy Clasie in a bid to replace Ruben Schaken, whose ill-fated debut in the senior national set-up ended with a knee injury ruling him out of Tuesday’s encounter.

Elia’s call-up ends what has been an international hiatus stretching back to October 2011.

“It’s great to be back,” the Werder Bremen attacker told Dutch publication ANP.

“I am happy with this reunification. It’s something different I hadn’t expected.

“I opted to join Werder Bremen this summer because I can play a lot of football. I did not expect it would take me back to the Oranje so soon, so it’s really a surprise.”

Van Gaal’s men travel to Romania in a bid to further their World Cup qualifying campaign, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is hoping their opponents will come out with the intention to play.

“It will be a very different game against Romania (compared to the 3-0 victory over Andorra). That was not fun at all. Andorra just came out to minimise the damage,” he said.

Responding to indications his coach would drop him to the bench in place of Robin van Persie despite his goal on Friday, Huntelaar added: “It has happened to me before. We’ll see on Saturday.”

The pair developed a frosty relationship after the Schalke frontman often found himself dropped to the bench during Euro 2012.

Sat 13 October, 2012
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